Buvala Farm – Pepin, WI

buvalaIf you’ve ever shopped at Just Local Food between 10am and noon on a Wednesday, you’ve likely had the pleasure of meeting Matt Buvala.  We enjoy his cheerful company and stories every week when he makes a delivery–but we’re also just excited to buy a dozen fresh, bright orange-yolked eggs.

Matt grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Wisconsin and, subsequently, has loved farming for as long as he can remember.  Following high school and technical school, he worked in construction before joining the U.S. Navy as a photographer.  In 2001, after retiring from the Navy, he followed his heart back to Wisconsin, where he started raising free-range chickens near Pepin.

Matt’s 17 acres are home to about 275 laying hens and 150 Cornish Cross meat birds.  They are fed on pasture and organic feed without the use of GMOs.  While the demand for his eggs is as high as ever, the size of his operation is plenty for one person to manage.

Along with the many joys of keeping several hundred pastured birds comes the challenge of moving the electric fence netting every week or two.  Fortunately, Matt’s knack for inventing and fixing led him to design and manufacture a fence cart over the course of several years.  He patented it, started selling them in 2013, and is working to reduce the cost to help other farmers save time and energy.  You can read more about his fence cart at buvalafarm.com.